Exposure to negative acts at work, psychological stress reactions and physiological stress response

Annie Hogh, Ase M Hansen, Eva G Mikkelsen, Roger Persson

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The overall aim of the study was to test the association between exposure to negative acts at work, psychological stress-reactions and cortisol secretion and whether some negative acts are more detrimental to health than others.

METHODS: A questionnaire study included 1010 respondents from 55 workplaces. Three saliva samples collected from the participants at awakening, 30 min later and at 20:00 during a workday were analysed for cortisol concentrations. Negative acts were measured using a modified version of the revised Negative Acts Questionnaire (to measure bullying behaviour). Factor analyses identified four subscales: social isolation, direct harassment, intimidating behaviour and work related acts. Psychological stress-reactions were measured by the Impact of Event Scale (IES) measuring traumatic stress-reactions.

RESULTS: Having controlled for gender, age, other traumatic incidents and physical violence, multiple regression analyses showed significant linear associations between social isolation and the three IES scales: hyper-arousal, intrusive thoughts, and avoidance behaviour. Work-related negative acts were significantly associated with all three outcome scales though to a lesser degree, whereas direct harassment was only associated with avoidance behaviour. Intimidating acts were significantly associated with hyper-arousal. We found significantly reduced levels of cortisol concentration for exposure to direct harassment and intimidating behaviour.

CONCLUSION: The results show that some negative acts such as direct harassment and intimidating behaviour are associated with psychological stress-reactions and a negative physiological stress response. Extending previous research this indicates that some negative acts are more detrimental than others in so far as exposure to these acts affects both psychological and physiological health.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Volume73
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)47-52
ISSN0022-3999
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Health
Saliva
Workplace
Statistical Factor Analysis
Regression Analysis
Research
Surveys and Questionnaires
Physical Abuse

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone/analysis
  • Male
  • Saliva/chemistry
  • Social Environment
  • Stress, Physiological/physiology
  • Stress, Psychological/physiopathology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workplace/psychology

Cite this

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title = "Exposure to negative acts at work, psychological stress reactions and physiological stress response",
abstract = "OBJECTIVES: The overall aim of the study was to test the association between exposure to negative acts at work, psychological stress-reactions and cortisol secretion and whether some negative acts are more detrimental to health than others.METHODS: A questionnaire study included 1010 respondents from 55 workplaces. Three saliva samples collected from the participants at awakening, 30 min later and at 20:00 during a workday were analysed for cortisol concentrations. Negative acts were measured using a modified version of the revised Negative Acts Questionnaire (to measure bullying behaviour). Factor analyses identified four subscales: social isolation, direct harassment, intimidating behaviour and work related acts. Psychological stress-reactions were measured by the Impact of Event Scale (IES) measuring traumatic stress-reactions.RESULTS: Having controlled for gender, age, other traumatic incidents and physical violence, multiple regression analyses showed significant linear associations between social isolation and the three IES scales: hyper-arousal, intrusive thoughts, and avoidance behaviour. Work-related negative acts were significantly associated with all three outcome scales though to a lesser degree, whereas direct harassment was only associated with avoidance behaviour. Intimidating acts were significantly associated with hyper-arousal. We found significantly reduced levels of cortisol concentration for exposure to direct harassment and intimidating behaviour.CONCLUSION: The results show that some negative acts such as direct harassment and intimidating behaviour are associated with psychological stress-reactions and a negative physiological stress response. Extending previous research this indicates that some negative acts are more detrimental than others in so far as exposure to these acts affects both psychological and physiological health.",
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author = "Annie Hogh and Hansen, {Ase M} and Mikkelsen, {Eva G} and Roger Persson",
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year = "2012",
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language = "English",
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Exposure to negative acts at work, psychological stress reactions and physiological stress response. / Hogh, Annie; Hansen, Ase M; Mikkelsen, Eva G; Persson, Roger.

In: Journal of Psychosomatic Research, Vol. 73, No. 1, 07.2012, p. 47-52.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Exposure to negative acts at work, psychological stress reactions and physiological stress response

AU - Hogh, Annie

AU - Hansen, Ase M

AU - Mikkelsen, Eva G

AU - Persson, Roger

N1 - Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PY - 2012/7

Y1 - 2012/7

N2 - OBJECTIVES: The overall aim of the study was to test the association between exposure to negative acts at work, psychological stress-reactions and cortisol secretion and whether some negative acts are more detrimental to health than others.METHODS: A questionnaire study included 1010 respondents from 55 workplaces. Three saliva samples collected from the participants at awakening, 30 min later and at 20:00 during a workday were analysed for cortisol concentrations. Negative acts were measured using a modified version of the revised Negative Acts Questionnaire (to measure bullying behaviour). Factor analyses identified four subscales: social isolation, direct harassment, intimidating behaviour and work related acts. Psychological stress-reactions were measured by the Impact of Event Scale (IES) measuring traumatic stress-reactions.RESULTS: Having controlled for gender, age, other traumatic incidents and physical violence, multiple regression analyses showed significant linear associations between social isolation and the three IES scales: hyper-arousal, intrusive thoughts, and avoidance behaviour. Work-related negative acts were significantly associated with all three outcome scales though to a lesser degree, whereas direct harassment was only associated with avoidance behaviour. Intimidating acts were significantly associated with hyper-arousal. We found significantly reduced levels of cortisol concentration for exposure to direct harassment and intimidating behaviour.CONCLUSION: The results show that some negative acts such as direct harassment and intimidating behaviour are associated with psychological stress-reactions and a negative physiological stress response. Extending previous research this indicates that some negative acts are more detrimental than others in so far as exposure to these acts affects both psychological and physiological health.

AB - OBJECTIVES: The overall aim of the study was to test the association between exposure to negative acts at work, psychological stress-reactions and cortisol secretion and whether some negative acts are more detrimental to health than others.METHODS: A questionnaire study included 1010 respondents from 55 workplaces. Three saliva samples collected from the participants at awakening, 30 min later and at 20:00 during a workday were analysed for cortisol concentrations. Negative acts were measured using a modified version of the revised Negative Acts Questionnaire (to measure bullying behaviour). Factor analyses identified four subscales: social isolation, direct harassment, intimidating behaviour and work related acts. Psychological stress-reactions were measured by the Impact of Event Scale (IES) measuring traumatic stress-reactions.RESULTS: Having controlled for gender, age, other traumatic incidents and physical violence, multiple regression analyses showed significant linear associations between social isolation and the three IES scales: hyper-arousal, intrusive thoughts, and avoidance behaviour. Work-related negative acts were significantly associated with all three outcome scales though to a lesser degree, whereas direct harassment was only associated with avoidance behaviour. Intimidating acts were significantly associated with hyper-arousal. We found significantly reduced levels of cortisol concentration for exposure to direct harassment and intimidating behaviour.CONCLUSION: The results show that some negative acts such as direct harassment and intimidating behaviour are associated with psychological stress-reactions and a negative physiological stress response. Extending previous research this indicates that some negative acts are more detrimental than others in so far as exposure to these acts affects both psychological and physiological health.

KW - Adult

KW - Female

KW - Humans

KW - Hydrocortisone/analysis

KW - Male

KW - Saliva/chemistry

KW - Social Environment

KW - Stress, Physiological/physiology

KW - Stress, Psychological/physiopathology

KW - Surveys and Questionnaires

KW - Workplace/psychology

U2 - 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2012.04.004

DO - 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2012.04.004

M3 - Journal article

C2 - 22691559

VL - 73

SP - 47

EP - 52

JO - Journal of Psychosomatic Research

JF - Journal of Psychosomatic Research

SN - 0022-3999

IS - 1

ER -